College Dating and Social Anxiety: Using the Internet as a Means of Connecting to Others

Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6040, USA.
CyberPsychology & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.71). 11/2007; 10(5):680-8. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2007.9970
Source: PubMed


With the advent and widespread use of the Internet, various online media are being used to connect and maintain social relationships in individuals of all ages. Social relationships are vital to healthy development, and individuals with social and/or dating anxiety may have marked difficulty in establishing appropriate, supportive relationships because of fear of negative evaluation by others. For these individuals, the Internet may open avenues of communication and provide an outlet through which relationships can be formed and preserved. This study investigated the characteristics of computer and Internet use in young adults to determine whether individuals who were high in social/dating anxiety symptoms were more likely to make and maintain social relationships online. To further understand the patterns of these behaviors, several measures of social and dating anxiety were collected and analyzed along with demographic, computer use, and relationship characteristics. Results indicated differences between high and low social/dating anxiety with respect to media use and relationship formation. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

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    • "One review of the research reports that " membership and participation in Internet groups can have powerful effects on one's self and identity " (Bargh & McKenna, 2004: 581). And there is some suggestion that this is particularly powerful for people with social anxiety (Stevens & Morris, 2007). And that when people disengage from online groups, they go through much the same processes as when disengaging from face to face communities (Kazmer, 2007). "

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